How do I handle this?

We (my spouse and myself) received a late Christmas Card/newsletter from my BIL.

In it he twice used the phrase “the Novus Ordo church which is quickly dying and will soon be dead.”

My significant other thinks that I should challenge him about his, because he never hears from our side (we are Novus Ordo) and he might be influenced by it, and that we should defend our faith.

My reasoning is

  1. IMHO he is a bigot and you can’t argue with bigots. Of his 6 children 4 of them can’t stand him and have moved far away from him, one of them is anxious to join the Marines just to spite him, 2 of them intensely dislike the Traditional movement. His business revolves around the Transitional movement and he is deeply involved in their community. The Traditional Movement is all he knows. He is very insistent that his children do not go to the Novos Ordo mass.

  2. I have discussed this issue at length with him to no avail. He has very good arguments and loves arguing about this.

  3. I don’t want to alienate him totally as I am hoping to remain on good terms with his children.

I was wondering what your thoughts on this issue is.

He lives far away from us and if I was to say anything to him it would be via a phone call or letter.

I know it’s tough… but in my opinion the highest ground is to just stay quiet.
It’s not up to your BIL, nor you, nor I as to whether or not any movement is alive or dead… his words won’t change the world, and neither will yours.
What you can do is PRAY, LIVE the MASS in your everyday lives, and LOVE your neighbor. That’s what Christ asks us to do. Sometimes we can get too caught up in the details, rules, and drama behind the scenes and totally miss the point.
Stay in loving contact with his kids, and just ignore that which doesn’t really matter…

God bless!

Send him a nice Valentines day card.:thumbsup:

I think there is a good quote that applies very well in this situation

“Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.”


I’m stealing that! :smiley:

If he is convinced that he’s right (and knowing the type, he is) then there is no debating with him. His debates serve only to bolster his own misinformed opinion.

Silence (despite my signature quote below:p) is sometimes the only prudent route to take. But don’t be silent in prayer for him.:thumbsup:

Pardon my ignorance, but is Novus Ordo in full communion with the Holy Father in Rome? Anyway, if it is, then you don’t have anything to worry about - for Jesus Himself has said that the Gates of Hell will not prevail against His Church. What chance does your BIL have? If it is not, then you should carefully discern what the Holy Father has to say about it and - most importantly - why.

I do recommend responding - but do so in a measured way. Why? Here’s what St. Peter has to say about it: “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame.” 1 Peter 3: 15-16.

On a practical level, my suggestion is that you do a little verbal Judo. Make him prove why Novus Ordo is wrong. Simply point out to him that saying “the Novus Ordo church which is quickly dying and will soon be dead” is his opinion and he should prove why Novus Ordo is wrong using official Church documentation. Use charitable language that isn’t designed to make him angry. (Maybe something like, “You said. [fill in]… Please explain why you believe this, and please back it up with authoritative Church documents and logical argument so that you might have some chance of convincing me.”)

Then, listen to what he says. If he gives you garbage, then don’t bother answering him. Take the debate elsewhere. If he makes a genuine effort, then answer his charges backed up and supported by your own authoritative documentation. The resulting dialog might help him - and will certainly help you.

Anyway, I think it is worth it. Challenge him (indirectly through calm, rational debate) to rise to a new level of understanding. Even if he doesn’t improve - you will. Also, you never know - you might change some of your opinions if he is right on certain issues. :slight_smile:

The Novus Ordo (New Order) is not a group but rather the Mass of Pope Paul VI. In other words, it is the Mass as has been promulgated in the time since Vatican II, in whatever language.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit